Demand for workers inches up on IT, health

Sophie Moore
Economists expect the jobless rate to increase to seven per cent when latest figures are released

Demand for workers has increased slightly but with unemployment predicted to leap to its highest rate in 20 years there will be fierce competition for any potential openings.

Economists expect the jobless rate to increase to seven per cent when the latest figures are released on Thursday.

Nearly 600,000 people lost their jobs when COVID-19 restrictions took hold as job adverts also dried up.

Research by professional networking platform LinkedIn has revealed hiring in Australia has recently stabilised, showing a slight improvement.

In the week to June 5, hirings rose to be down 30 per cent on the same time last year, a 20 per cent improvement on its lowest point in mid-May.

Three sectors which are still hiring are IT, finance and healthcare, with giants Google, the big four banks and Serco all advertising jobs.

Virus-driven demand for workers remains in the government sector and food production, the data showed.

LinkedIn has reported a surge in members actively networking during the pandemic.

The platform's director of product Byron Ma says it has been processing about five million updates a minute from members and companies.

About 11 million Australian individuals and companies are currently signed up to the professional network.

"Recently a lot of members have been helping one another out by offering videos and tips showing fellow users how to help adapt to working at home," Mr Ma told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday.

Australians will have early access from Thursday to the platform's new feature LinkedIn Stories.

The function allows members to share a short video or image on a timeline.

The disappearing video function will look familiar to users of Instagram, Facebook with its scrollable stories bar at the top of the screen and range of cutesy stickers.

Currently being tested in Brazil, the Netherlands and United Arab Emirates, Mr Ma said Australians will be monitored to identify how they use their creative sides in a professional context.

There are no plans at this stage to allow direct monetisation of videos posted to the site.